Things Dental X-Rays Can Find

Things Dental X-Rays Can Find

Did you know that dental x-rays are an important part of monitoring your oral health? They are so important, in fact, that dentists use them to diagnose a variety of dental conditions. While medical doctors will only ask for x-rays if they suspect a broken bone, dentists use dental x-rays to provide them with valuable information about the underlying tooth structure. And in some cases, they are indeed used to diagnose a broken tooth. 


Before you start panicking about radiation exposure, let me assure you that modern dental x-rays use extremely small amounts of radiation. In fact, the amount of radiation associated with dental x-rays is a mere fraction when compared to other diagnostic imaging procedures. Additionally, your dentist may not need to perform x-rays at every dental checkup. 


With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the things that dental x-rays can find: 


Permanent Teeth

Family dentists use dental x-rays to monitor the development of permanent teeth in children. In most cases, no action needs to be taken. In some cases, however, your dentist may intervene to ensure the teeth erupt properly. 


impacted wisdom teeth

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Your dentist can also use dental x-rays to monitor the development of your wisdom teeth. In some cases, they may even be able to determine the need for extraction before they begin to cause problems by erupting improperly. They also provide your dentist with important information needed to extract them safely. 



One main reason for dental x-rays is the simple fact that they can be used to diagnose cavities. Although some cavities are noticeable during a visual exam, the extent of the cavity can be determined using a dental x-ray. This also allows for the detection of early decay, which allows for faster treatment. Additionally, some cavities are found in between teeth or in other places that are not immediately visible and can only be diagnosed with an x-ray. 



There are various abnormalities that can occur in the jawbone such as cysts, tumors, and abscesses. Although cysts and tumors are rare, abscesses can occur as a result of a severe pulp infection. 


Restoration Damage

Since dental restorations are not indestructible, they will eventually wear down over time. When they begin to wear down, they are more susceptible to becoming damaged and allowing bacteria to become trapped underneath. Dental x-rays can show if decay has occurred under or around the restoration. 


Bone Health

Last, but certainly not least, dental x-rays show the health of your jawbone. This is especially important when having an extraction performed or a dental restoration placed. Certain restorations require a minimal amount of bone to be successful, while certain dental conditions can lead to the deterioration of bone. Dental x-rays allow your dentist to determine the current condition of your jawbone. 


Overall, dental x-rays are highly useful diagnostic tools used by dentists to evaluate your oral health and diagnose dental issues. They allow for prompt treatment, better treatment outcomes, and better oral health maintenance. Not only that, but regular dental x-rays can actually save you time and money by identifying problems early on. 



Staff of bethesda family dentistry

Dr. Deborah Tabb graduated in the upper 5% of her class, from the Medical College of Virginia in 1982, where she was honored to receive advanced awards for outstanding performance in endodontics, periodontics, and oral surgery. These prestigious awards validated her clinical talent, which she is recognized for today. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the Southern Maryland Dental Society, the Academy of General Dentistry and the Potomac Valley Dental Study Club.

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